(Citynet Statewide Sportsline interview with Braxton Amos)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — One of the best wrestlers in West Virginia high school history was introduced to the sport at a very young age, even though the sport wasn’t exactly like he envisioned it. Fourteen years later, Parkersburg South’s Braxton Amos became a three-time state champion.
“I started when I was three,” Amos said. “The local wrestling club I grew up with, and up until the pandemic I was still going to workouts on a daily basis there, they were handing out fliers to the elementary schools and day care schools. I brought it home to my dad and said, ‘Can I try this?’ I was thinking I would walk in and there would be a ring and you hit each other with chairs. I was three, I didn’t know what I was getting into.
“I was talking, walking and then wrestling.”
Prior to high school, Amos made the sport of wrestling his primary focus. And that commitment has paid off with a scholarship to Wisconsin.
“I fell in love with the sport a couple years later. It wasn’t until about seventh or eighth grade that I realized I could go far in wrestling and make it pay for college and hopefully take it further than college.”
Amos claimed his third state championship this winter and led the Patriots to their sixth consecutive Class AAA team title. He went unbeaten in 142 career matches at South and was recently named the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award National Winner by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
“I was super honored to be the pick. My club coach in Columbus trained with Schultz. To hear the stories of the type of guy he was and to get the award in his honor was awesome.”
Since capping his prep career, Amos’ original plans have been altered by the pandemic. He is conditioning as much as possible, gearing up for his freshman season with the Badgers.
“It is definitely a change, trying to figure out how to practice within the guidelines and stay in shape. It has definitely thrown a wrench in my summer plans. I was supposed to be up in Wisconsin on the first of April and now it is looking like I am not getting up there until after graduation. It is definitely a changeup but I am working with it.”
Entering his senior year, Amos decided to take on a new challenge. He joined the PSHS football team, playing in full pads for the first time since eighth grade. Amos promptly earned first team all-state honors and helped the Patriots to the Class AAA state semifinals.
“A college education right now runs for a lot of money. We were looking at that over me playing twelve or thirteen football games in a year. But the more we looked at it, the more comfortable we were that the braces would protect my knees. At some point in time, you have to go live life and not worry about anything else.”
Amos is graduating from Parkersburg South with a 4.05 grade point average and he will major in engineering at Wisconsin.